Nacogdoches Sheriff Gives Update on Fatal Auto/Pedestrian Crash
The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an altercation related to a fatal automobile-pedestrian crash that occurred Tuesday night between Appleby and Garrison in Nacogdoches County. The fatal crash is under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
According to a report, at 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, 911 dispatchers received separate calls regarding a crash between a vehicle and pedestrian, as well as a disturbance in the 16000 block of U.S. 59 North. The preliminary investigation indicates April Julissa Cavazos, 20, of Nacogdoches County, and James Lopez, 21, of Mineola, had been involved in a verbal altercation that turned physical.
For reasons currently unclear, Cavazos entered the southbound lane of the highway, where she was struck by a passing vehicle. Despite emergency life-saving measures taken by law enforcement officers, Cavazos died of her injuries and was pronounced deceased by a Justice of the Peace at the scene.
Around 9:27 p.m., while deputies were assisting at the scene of the crash, dispatchers received a call about an unidentified individual at another person’s residence in the 1600 block of CR 263, roughly 2.1 miles away. During their investigation, deputies had been told Lopez had left the scene of the altercation. However, at the address, officers located and identified Lopez, who was determined to be intoxicated and was taken into custody.
Lopez has been charged with assault causing bodily injury of a family member, a Class-A misdemeanor, and public intoxication, a Class-C misdemeanor. He is currently incarcerated at the Nacogdoches County Jail on bonds totaling $3,000.
While deputies were interviewing Lopez, and after the scene of the crash had been cleared, deputies were forced to block traffic on the highway again when a disturbance broke out among people at the scene of the crash. Leah Guzman, who was on scene at the time of the crash and initial disturbance, was taken into custody for public intoxication after being assessed as a danger to herself or others.
The investigation into the altercation is ongoing, and the sheriff’s office is coordinating with DPS in their investigation.